ME

:IN FOCUS

JUNE 2010

BRIDAL BLITZ

P. 14 VERA WANG P. 46 P. 54
GET MARRIED, STAY MARRIED TO DO’S BEFORE SAYING I DO
WHERE RUNWAY MEETS REALITY, STYLE MEETS SUBSTANCE + HAUTE MEETS HEART™ WWW.ME-INFOCUS.COM

DESIGNER

CONTENTS STAFF
VERY VERA 14
STYLE ME. ENTERTAIN ME. INFORM ME. INDULGE ME. INSPIRE ME. EMPOWER ME.™
FOR SINGLE ISSUES OR SUBSCRIPTIONS, PLEASE VISIT

BRIDAL BEAUTY 32
PUBLISHER The LB Group LLC FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Bian ‘Bee’ Li

WWW.ME-INFOCUS.COM

5 BUZZ: Our Staff’s Favorite Wedding Movies EDITORIAL 6 SHARING THE LOVE: whiteCHICAGO/
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Iya Bakare CONTRIBUTING WRITER Kerry Sayers INTERN Valencia Davis

CREATIVE
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Bee Li DESIGN DIRECTOR Diana Dittmer DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Rod Roberts CREATIVE CONSULTANTS Alex Albrecht Ricardo Ford

whiteXchange
8 REGISTRY RAVES: Modern, Creative Gift +

Registry Ideas
10 PERFECT PROPOSALS: Melissa Phillips of Simply

ADVERTISING/ SPONSORSHIP/ PROMOTIONS
DIRECTOR Leslie DeMarco

Perfect by Melissa aaaa SUSHI ANYONE?
Japanese Sushi Platter Tired of the run of the mill wedding gifts? Jazz up your registry with some more creative ideas. www.uncommongoods.com 14 VERY VERA: Bridal Gowns by Vera Wang, Shot by Editor’s Pick 12 OUT OF THE BOX BACHELORETTE: Above

ADMINISTRATIVE
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Ashley Brodarick

Average Party Ideas

CONTACTS
ADVERTISING leslie@meinfocusmag.com CONTENT editor@meinfocusmag.com SUBSCRIPTIONS subscribe@meinfocusmag.com SUBMISSIONS submissions@meinfocusmag.com GENERAL INQUIRIES info@meinfocusmag.com

Billy Rood
30 PHOTOS BY GARBOT: Professional Tips to Look

8

Your Best by Angie Garbot
32 BRIDAL BEAUTY: Soft, Simple + Natural Looks

Customized for Your Special Day
38 WISH UPON A WEDDING: Making Dreams Come

True, One Wedding at a Time
44 WOW YOUR WEDDING: The Hottest Catering

WWW.ME-INFOCUS.COM WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/MEINFOCUSMAG

Trends from Jennifer Monti of Phil Stefani Signature Events
46 GET MARRIED, STAY MARRIED: Our Panel of

ON THE COVER
Lesya Merena Green is in, white is out! Be bold and colorful! Our model Lesya looks gorgeous in this beautiful green dress designed by Vera Wang.
PHOTO BILLY ROOD

Experts Share Their Thoughts
48 JET SET: Honeymoon Hot Spots 54 TO DO’S BEFORE SAYING I DO: Relationship

Expert and Author Brenda Della Casa Advises on What to Ask Before Taking the Plunge

Copyright© 2010 ME: IN FOCUS/The LB Group LLC. All Rights Reserved. All text, images, graphics and other materials in this publication and the website are subject to the copyright and other intellectual property rights of ME: IN FOCUS/ The LB Group LLC and other respective contributors, affiliates and/or submitters. These materials may not be reproduced, distributed, modified or reposted to other publications or websites without the express written permission of ME: IN FOCUS/The LB Group LLC or other respective copyright holders. The photos on the following pages of this issue, unless otherwise credited, are copyrighted property of The LB Group LLC and express written permission must be granted for any usage. Any photos not noted above, and not specifically credited, are obtained from publicly shared/open license sources and/or databases. The marks appearing in this publication and/or the website including, but not limited to: (i) The LB Group LLC; and (ii) ME: IN FOCUS and its respective logos, images, emblems, phrases, slogans, designs, and mottos; are trademarks of The LB Group LLC, its brands and affiliates. The information contained herein is designed to be as contextual and factual as possible, per our best efforts and the information and/or resources available and/or provided to us at the time. We reserve the right, however, to make changes at any time, without notice, in the editing of the publication therein for clarity, brevity, content, and purpose. Some links and/or contact information provided in this publication may lead to websites and/or establishments/businesses by independent third party owners. The information presented therein is the sole responsibility of those independent third party owners. The LB Group LLC and ME: IN FOCUS have no control or responsibility for the content of independent sites and/or nature of third party establishments/businesses and we provide these links and/or contact information to our readers solely for their convenience.

E:L
(editor’s letter) BIAN ‘BEE’ LI SHARES HER THOUGHTS

PHOTO BILLY ROOD

VERY VERA
This photo was taken during the ‘Very Vera’ shoot on pg. 14

Dear Readers, Wedding season is upon us, and this issue is an out of the box mix of tradition and trends, focused on the modern woman who knows that at the end of the day, getting married is only the first step toward being married. From the proposal to the exotic honeymoon and everything in between, this issue is full of helpful tips and heartfelt advice from industry professionals who have dedicated their careers to helping couples and their families make the whole experience one to remember. Weddings are a celebration of love, and this issue celebrates that love through insightful and inspiring stories, from whiteCHICAGO’s dedication to passing on the love (and savings) through stylish consignment to the life changing wedding wishes come true through the work of national non-profit Wish Upon a Wedding. We are thrilled to showcase Vera Wang’s couture designs in a gorgeous feature spread shot at Chicago’s Ritz Carlton, and the ethereal quality of Vera’s gowns on the hotel rooftop at sunrise and in the grand ballroom are truly breathtaking. In addition, look and feel your best for wedding photos with our bridal beauty inspirations for gowns, hair and makeup. And finally, whether you’re just in the early stages of falling in love or in the hectic wedding planning process, always remember who you are and what matters to you. With the Sex and the City 2 movie recently out, I’m reminded of the TV series finale, when Carrie Bradshaw ends with a poignant thought: “…the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you YOU love, well, that's just fabulous.” Be Good. Bee

OUR FAVORITE WEDDING MOVIES
FILM

BUZZ

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Diana’s Pick

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Valencia’s Pick

ENTERTAIN ME

PRIDE & PREJUDICE
KIERA KNIGHTLEY + MATTHEW MacFAYDEN

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING
NIA VARDALOS + JON CORBETT

Based on the Jane Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice is a humorous love story about five sisters and their pressures to marry to insure financial security upon the anticipated death of their present caretaker. With emphasis on social class, scandal and gossip, it is an excellent love story about life, love and marriage in the Georgian era.

Toula, a Greek woman (Nia Vardalos) who is in distress about her age and marital status, has a change of luck when a nonGreek man (Jon Corbett) graces her life while she is working at her family business. Her self-perceptions change, as does her life, when she falls into a secret relationship with this charming character. Love and compromise overrule all in this heartwarming romantic comedy.

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Iya’s Pick

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Ashley’s Pick

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Bee’s Pick

THE BEST MAN
NIA LONG + TAYE DIGGS

MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING
JULIA ROBERTS + DERMOT MULRONEY

MONSOON WEDDING
LILETE DUBEY + NASEERUDDIN SHAH

Harper Stewart (Taye Diggs), a young author on the verge of success and marriage, grows weary of the combination of the two. Contemplating freedom from such an engagement in his prime, this semiauto-biographical book makes its way into the wrong hands, further complicating his internal predicament. Variables of trust and life-altering decision-making weave their way through this Spike Lee production.

Julia Roberts plays 27 year old Julianne, a woman who pursues the heart of her long-time college friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney), but only after he becomes engaged. This romantic comedy is sure to keep you laughing and entertained, with a lesson of honesty and selflessness tastefully intertwined.

Directed by the acclaimed Mira Nair, this movie is a sensory overload of color, music and celebration. The story follows a wealthy Indian family and the hectic wedding planning for their only daughter. This film is ultimately about a family’s strengths and bonds as relationships are tested, wounds reopened and drama unfolds. Mira takes us into the vibrant world of Indian wedding traditions and culture, while telling a story we all can relate to in some aspect. The soundtrack will make you want to get up and dance.

BY VALENCIA DAVIS

JUNE 2010 ME: IN FOCUS 5

CONSIGNMENT WEDDING fashion never looked so good until whiteCHICAGO hit the market. The brainchild of owners Ursula Guyer and Stacy Senechalle, whiteCHICAGO is an innovative option for recessionista brides who want the dress of their dreams but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars for it. Ursula says the idea originated with her personal experience as she searched for her wedding dress and wanted to plan a wedding on a budget. She traveled to various consignment shops in major cities all over the country for the perfect dress, but admits she didn’t find anything spectacular. Although she could afford an expensive dress, she preferred to splurge on something else for the wedding that

was more important to her, like flowers. Stacy met Ursula because her husband (then-boyfriend) worked with Ursula’s husband. The two lacked retail experience, but with Stacy’s communications background and with Ursula’s advertising and design experience, the two formed a perfect combination to create whiteCHICAGO, a name which came to Ursula one day while jogging along Lake Michigan. “I knew I wanted a spa feeling to it— something clean and crisp and a location in the River North area—because it’s an art district,” recalls Ursula. “We wanted to create a shop with great dresses and a great experience. I wanted it to resemble an art gallery and the dresses serve as the pieces of art.”

The boutique is decorated in pure white with lit candles and decorative, fresh flowers. Upon arrival, white ankle socks are available for guests to wear while walking on the white marble floors. When whiteCHICAGO opened in 2006, the store featured 90 dresses and Stacy and Ursula as the only staff. The first dress sold at whiteCHICAGO was Ursula’s personal wedding gown. Stacy says the business grew through word-of-mouth and other grassroots marketing initiatives. Recently, whiteCHICAGO launched whiteXchange.com, their premier online wedding gown listing service. The website is the store’s online boutique with a listing of dresses that can be sorted by size and designer, and customers can create ‘wish

VE LO HE GT RIN HA S

PHOTO E3 PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO JEREMY LAWSON PHOTOGRAPHY

lists’ for gowns they want to purchase. It will also offer dresses for the mothers of brides and bridesmaids. Currently, whiteXchange.com has clientele in 32 states. Four years and a staff of eight later, Stacy shares that it’s easier now to manage the daily operations of whiteCHICAGO, all while maintaining the brand of the company. Giving back and remaining eco-conscious are also important to whiteCHICAGO, as the boutique recently started a recycling program. In April, whiteCHICAGO planted a tree for each dress sold in honor of Earth Day, which totaled 30 trees. Ursula says women are recycling, passing on the love and are being eco-friendly when they participate in the boutique’s experience.

LEFT/ Ursula Guyer RIGHT/ Stacy Senechalle

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WHITECHICAGO/ WHITEXCHANGE
PHOTO E3 PHOTOGRAPHY

Owners Ursula Guyer and Stacy Senechalle share their innovative twists in wedding gown shopping and their dedication to staying green.
www.whitechicago.com www.whitexchange.com

BY IYA BAKARE

In addition, brides-to-be are saving money, which is an added bonus. Ursula and Stacy credit Chicago designers Caroline Devillo and Alice Padrul as women in the wedding retail industry who have inspired them. Ursula says the overall goal is to have whiteXchange as the brand for the company, and store expansion such as whiteL.A., etc. to support the website. “The challenge is keeping up with technology and its trends,” admits Ursula. Today’s bride has a few trends for her wedding gown, which are not the ‘traditional’ looks from brides in the past. The one-strap look, sashes and fitted gowns are among some of the current trends, says Stacy. With a seamstress at the boutique, white-

CHICAGO can alter and restyle dresses to the bride’s taste. Ursula says Caroline Herrera is one of her favorite designers, while Stacy says she admires the work of designers Amy Michelson, Melissa Sweet and Oscar de la Renta. “What’s great about fashion now is you can do whatever you want,” comments Ursula. “Get back to your comfort level and you can pull anything off. Make sure you get a dress that’s you and fits your personality. Don’t be afraid to restyle.” Stacy adds, “The number on the dress size label doesn’t matter, and you should buy what fits you.”

JUNE 2010 ME: IN FOCUS 7

3

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2 1

STYLE-CONSCIOUS COUPLE

ECO-CONSCIOUS COUPLE

SUSHI ANYONE?

FANCY FLUTES

LOVELY LAMP

SCULPTED SPIRITS

1

This made-for-two ceramic sushi platter is functional, fashionable and ideal for the modern couple who loves to enjoy gourmet Japanese cuisine from the comfort of their own home. Sushi Platter $50 www.uncommongoods.com

2

These aristocratic Park Avenue Flutes come engraved with the newlyweds’ names and wedding dates. Their intricate design is embellished with Austrian crystals set against a vintage finish, a sure fire way to dazzle the new bride. Park Avenue Flutes $75 www.thingsremembered.com

3

For the eco-conscious couple, this stylish household item is handmade from 100% linen, a renewable natural fiber, as well as environmentally friendly water-based inks. Cornstalk Pendant Lamp $134 www.2modern.com

4

Made from recycled scrap metal, this eco-friendly wine holder is perfect for the eccentric, feline-loving pair while they enjoy a cool Pinot Grigio on a hot summer’s day. Crazy Cat Wine Holder $78 www.sundogcompany.com

WHAT COLOR IS YOUR COUPLE?

5

REGISTRY RAVES
MODERN + CREATIVE GIFTS!
Looking to jazz up your registry? Looking for a gift for that special couple? Here are some unique and thoughtful ideas.

BY VALENCIA DAVIS

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7
ART-CONSCIOUS COUPLE

OH SO ANDY

MIRRORED MOSAIC

COLOR YOUR PALETTE

5

For the couple who loves pop art almost as much as one another, these custom-made Warhol-inspired canvases turn any wedding photo into an instant classic portrait. Warhol Pop Art Portraits $239 www.gifts.com

6

Entitled ‘Astral Reflections’, this colorful piece of home décor doubles as a gorgeous wall mirror. An eclectic addition for the couple who loves to spread their taste for quality throughout their home. Astral Reflections Mirror $350 www.artfulhome.com

7

Designed to catch the eyes of graphic artists and other color gurus, these Pantone ® mugs are a must-have splash of color for any newlywed couple with a sense of design. Pantone® Mugs $125 ~ set of 10 www.delight.com

JUNE 2010 ME: IN FOCUS 9

PERFECT PROPOSALS
MELISSA PHILLIPS EVENT PLANNER + ENTREPRENEUR
A former high school biology teacher, Melissa Phillips of Simply Perfect by Melissa is finding success in her second career as an entrepreneur and event planner. She shares some of her ideas for great wedding proposals in addition to tips on how to create the scene for that special moment.
www.simplyperfectbymelissa.com

@ LOFT ON LAKE
On May 6, guests gathered for a luxury bridal show featuring some of Chicago’s best in wedding fashion, wedding planning, photography, catering and more.

10 ME: IN FOCUS JUNE 2010

PHOTOS STEPHEN GARRETT

IMAGE ENVY

IDEAS Ideas for a Simply Perfect proposal:
1 Choose a setting that reflects you as a couple, through your hobbies, interests or personality traits (ex: biking, walking with the dogs, traveling, wine tasting, sporting event or music). This will make for a very special and touching proposal memory. 2 Catch her off guard and blow her away. If you’re usually the subdued, mellow type or maybe you’ve been known to forget a holiday or two, go above and beyond to completely WOW her. If you are going to do this one time, you might as well go all out and pop the question in an over-the-top kind of way. For example, airplane message, big announcement at a public event, surprise visit to her job in front of her co-workers or whisk her away to a private island. 3 For the adventurous couple, send her on a scavenger hunt that no girl will want to turn away. It won’t take much arm-twisting to send her on a marathon of spa events – a massage, facial, manicure and pedicure. Have a nice note waiting for her at home telling her the next steps she will take to find you, and end the evening with the big question.

TIPS Tips for a Simply Perfect proposal:
1 plan. Have a plan Strategy is key! Just as any sports team has a game plan, you also need a strategic plan to make your proposal happen just right. Create a list of ideas, make necessary appointments and/or reservations and walk through the steps ahead of time. Obstacles may arise on the day of the proposal, but you will be much more at ease with the plan if you have a firm grasp on the procedure. 2 her. Be one step ahead of her Really wow her and have the ring already sized to her finger. Borrow another ring she may own, talk to her parents about an old class ring and casually have her ring sized if you are already looking at rings. Once the ring is placed on her finger, she will want to keep it there. If the ring is too big or too small, the excitement of showing it to all of her friends and family may be lost. 3 memorable. Make it memorable You will hopefully only do this once. It will be a moment that is reflected back on for years to come and a story that is shared with many generations, so you want it to be newsworthy! Allow her to look her best (so no early morning, just rolled out of bed surprises); go out of your way to make the event special. If possible, try to have it documented on video or film. It’s easy to miss things when emotions tend to run high as the question gets closer to being asked and the world feels like it’s spinning once she says yes.

6

VIEW MELISSA’S BLOG
HTTP://SIMPLYPERFECTBYMELISSA.BLOGSPOT.COM

MEMBER OF THE ASSOCIATION OF BRIDAL CONSULTANTS

JUNE 2010 ME: IN FOCUS 11

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JUNE 2010 ME: IN FOCUS 13

VERY VERA
312 787 4696 www.verawangchicago.com

PHOTOGRAPHY BILLY ROOD www.figphoto.net GOWNS AVAILABLE AT VERA WANG CHICAGO 312 787 4696 HAIR + MAKEUP CARLEY MARTIN of Artists by Timothy Priano www.artistsbytimothypriano.com MODEL LESYA MERENA of Factor Women www.factorwomen.com PRODUCED BY JAMES GUSTIN/MELISSA MARTENS/BILLY ROOD SHOT ON LOCATION RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL CHICAGO www.fourseasons.com/chicagorc

JUNE 2010 ME: IN FOCUS 21

BEE: What are your tips for brides to look their best in wedding images? ANGIE: Although my style is more casual than posed, there are definitely things I ask a bride to do to get those beautiful portraits. First and foremost is to relax! People forget this is supposed to be a fun and happy time, and often that stress shows in the body language. It’s a good idea to think about relaxing your muscles, the joints, like the wrists and elbows. The most common ‘mistake’ brides make is to use what I call the ‘death grip on their flowers’—holding the bouquet with a tight fist about chin high. This gives the photo a tense look. Ease up on the grip, relax the fingers and lower the flowers to the belly button. Not only will this look more natural, it will also let the top of the beautiful dress shine through and accentuate the neckline. After all the time choosing the dress, that’s really important! It’s also important the dress is fitted well—you don’t want to fiddle with your gown in every other picture. Also, wear a little more make-up than you’re used to so that it photographs well. BEE: What are some things people can do the night before the wedding to photograph well the next day? ANGIE: Get a good night’s sleep! Trite, maybe, but oh so important! You don’t want bags under your eyes! Drink plenty of water to help keep your skin hydrated. Don’t try a new skin regimen the night or week before the wedding—you don’t want an unexpected result causing stress on the big day! BEE: How do wedding photographers differ from other photographers?

ANGIE: Unlike portrait or studio work, in wedding photography you only get one chance to ‘get it’. In some ways it’s like sports photography—you have to learn to anticipate the big events and also linger to capture those wonderful, unscripted moments that happen all day long. The best wedding photographers I know get very caught up in the emotions of the day, falling in love with the couple and their families and learning to be in the moment, thriving on the emotional rollercoaster. It’s intense work and not everyone enjoys it. Those who do it love it. BEE: How do you maintain a sense of calm during the hectic wedding process? ANGIE: I get asked this question a lot! The best answer I can give is I go into the day well-prepared from a logistical standpoint and confident from a photography standpoint. These are important because it’s what I can control. As for the rest of the day, it’s out of my hands! I keep my focus on the couple and let the day unfold, rolling with the ups and downs and not getting caught up in it. I feel it’s my job to make sure everyone around me is relaxed and I’m making it fun for them, which makes it fun for me! Do things happen to throw things off? Of course! But I choose to focus on solving any issues that may arise, rather than get upset. Often, this means doing something not strictly photography-related, like tracking down the right flowers for the groom, making sure the limo driver knows where he’s going, finding the cake knife and a plate for the cutting or helping to bustle the bride’s gown. It’s all in a good day’s work and I really do enjoy it!

BEE: What’s the most interesting wedding you’ve ever photographed? ANGIE: I think when couples of different faiths come together and decide to incorporate parts of each in their celebration, it makes for a unique and interesting day. I’ve shot several Hindu/Christian ceremonies, some with two full ceremonies and the bride changes from a bright, colorful sari into a Western, traditional, white gown. In one instance, the bride wore a classic ivory dress with a burgundy and gold wrap for the combined ceremony. The traditions carry into the reception, where ethnic food and special dances are often part of the celebration. BEE: What should couples look for when they seek a wedding photographer? ANGIE: One thing to remember is your wedding photographer is one vendor that is with you from the moment the dress goes on until the lights go out on the dance floor. Having a connection with your photographer is as important as the work itself, because if you don’t get along or there’s any kind of stress there, it will show in the images. In terms of questions, ask about their professional development. What’s their background in photography? How do they stay current in today’s digital wave? It’s important if you’re dealing with an avid amateur or a working professional. Ask if they have business insurance (several venues are now asking outside vendors for this) and if they can provide references. What kind of back-up equipment do they bring with them? How will the images be available after the wedding? Is there an online gallery with viewing, sharing and printing

PHOTOS BY GARBOT
ANGIE GARBOT, WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Chicago wedding photographer Angie Garbot provides helpful hints for aspiring wedding photographers and tips for brides to assure ‘picture perfect’ wedding images.

INTERVIEWED BY BEE LI

30 ME: IN FOCUS JUNE 2010

age and you owe it to your potential clients to be able to adapt quickly to different lighting situations, know how to use your equipment, etc. so you don’t miss those important moments! Classes at the Chicago Photography Center are a great place to start, including the Weddings-ina-Day Bootcamp, where I cover the business aspects of wedding photography, as well as spending time working with bride and groom models. Organizations like the Professional Photographers Association (PPA) can provide endless resources for training, legal tips, sample contracts and other information. Get a good website! It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Good, affordable options such as SmugMug or ShowIt are easy to customize and are scalable as your business grows. BEE: Describe your work with the Chicago Photography Center (CPC). ANGIE: I’ve been involved with CPC since 2003. I took a portrait class with local theatre photographer Johnny Knight and was hooked. At the time, building out the new space and growing the non-profit was very volunteer-intensive, and I dove in, eager to meet like-minded photographers. From hauling construction debris out to the garbage, moving furniture, painting or hanging cabinets, there wasn’t much that volunteers didn’t do to get the space ready for September ’03 classes. I began assisting in the classes and teaching as a darkroom instructor, joined the board of directors in 2004 and have continued in that capacity ever since. With a background in technology, many of my efforts have been focused on things like the website (including its redesign last year), email and e-newsletter communications, etc. I also sit on the curriculum committee, teach a class and am part of a board sub-committee providing oversight to CPC staff, as we are currently without an executive director. My involvement at CPC provides me an opportunity to bring photography to the community and to connect with others in the photography world. I have been fortunate to have had good teachers and mentors willing to help me, and I enjoy giving that back through my teaching and networking with people new to the industry.

PHO A DYT TO E SZL O SZY

capabilities? What are the wedding book options? I feel strongly about not simply shooting and providing a DVD of images. At the end of the day, the dress goes into the closet, the tux gets returned, the cake gets eaten and the flowers fade, but the wedding book is the one lasting remembrance of one of the most special celebrations in your life—don’t miss out on it. BEE: What are some tips for aspiring wedding photographers who want to launch their own business?

ANGIE: Seek out work as a second photographer. This is the only way to truly experience what it’s like to shoot a wedding and decide if it’s really for you and if you are prepared in your technical skills to do it. There are ways to find work through Digital Wedding Forum (DWF), Fast Track Photographer Group in Chicago, etc. where both established and aspiring photographers come together, and it’s a great way to get connected. Hone your photographic skills. There is no substitute for a technically, sound im-

JUNE 2010 ME: IN FOCUS 31

STYLE ME
SOFT, SIMPLE + STYLISH

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Chicago experts provide beautiful inspirations for your special day

PHOTO EDYTA SZYSZLO WWW.EDYTASZYSZLO.COM

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PHOTO DAVID WITTIG WWW.WEDDINGS.DAVIDWITTIG.COM

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ALICE PADRUL BRIDAL COUTURE
1360 W. Randolph St., Chicago 312 455 8094 www.alicepadrul.com

JUNE 2010 ME: IN FOCUS 33

PHOTO STEVEN A. RICHARDS

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BRYAN K. OSBURN
http://bryankosburncollection.carbonmade.com

t|Ü
IF YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED in 2010, you might be pleased to know that brides are no longer feeling pressured to grow their tresses long just for the wedding day. Gone are the terribly elaborate styles of the 80s & 90s, where hair was miraculously curled, permed or teased and tons of hair gel was slapped on to create hair that felt like a helmet! Instead, as the world struggles to recover from an economic recession, 2010 wedding hairdos are all about achieving a natural, simple and fun style that doesn’t have to be expensive. The following trends can complement every type of wedding theme, including beach, country, glitzy or traditional. The style experts at Compagnia della Bellezza salon will tell you that a great hairstyle does not have to be expensive. Instead, work with what you have and find a style that will bring out your best features.
SHORT HAIR

Brides, rejoice! Short hair is in and easy to style! Create a young and chic look with the hairstyle above. Great for a casual wedding and it even goes well with the qun kwa for Asian brides!

COMPAGNIA DELLA BELLEZZA CHICAGO
“Growing together on our journey to inspire, create and take care of all of our guests’ needs through our passion for beauty...the Italian way from our heart.”
1500 N. Wells St., Chicago 312 944 6747 www.cdb-chicago.com

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MEDIUM HAIR

If you already have medium length hair, you can choose from a variety of styles. Let your hair loose in soft, textured waves or a finger-curl creation, gently framing your face to create a classic, romantic look. Works well for outdoor and casual weddings!

JUNE 2010 ME: IN FOCUS 35

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LONG HAIR

Long hair, as always, holds the most versatile possibilities. It can be flipped, pinned-up, braided or twisted in many different ways. Wear it long with just a little gel and heat-activated product to add volume. Softly curl at the ends for an elegant and simple look.

LONG HAIRSTYLE 1

LONG HAIRSTYLE 2

Make heads turn with this classic updo. Add a simple ribbon or crystal headband for a graceful style that is perfect for your wedding celebration!

Create a cute little bun by braiding your hair and pin it at the nape. The look can be accomplished even with shoulder length hair. Add a sparkling tiara or some fresh flowers for a sophisticated style that goes well with any wedding theme.

36 ME: IN FOCUS JUNE 2010

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EVERY BRIDE is an INDIVIDUAL and should be treated that way. Customized looks are important for the bride’s personality to shine through on her special day. Makeup artist Bobbie Babetch shares her suggestions on choosing the best look for your wedding. For a beach wedding, soft pinks, lavenders and pastels work perfectly. For the eyes, first line with black, taupe or grey. Apply shades of bronze-gold to accentuate. Soft pink or apricot should be applied to the cheeks. For a black tie or country-club wedding, go with a beautiful smoky eye with a hint of color along with a deeper shade such as bronze on the cheeks. A little airbrushing (with bronzer in it) can help achieve a flawless look. For you perfect day, assemble a team of professional stylists who can ensure you

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BOBBIE’S BEST LOOK
1500 N. Wells St., 2nd Floor, Chicago 312 437 1800

CURLY

If you have curly or wavy hair, don’t run out and straighten it for your wedding! Instead work with what you have and create this gorgeous style by sweeping up your curls. It’s a look that will take you from ceremony to reception effortlessly!
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MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE ONE WEDDING AT A TIME
WISH UPON A WEDDING
You don’t need a fairy godmother to make your wishes come true. Founder of Wish Upon a Wedding, Liz Guthrie, discusses the motivation behind her national organization. Read about Beth and Nick Cortina, the recipients of the first wish granted by Wish Upon a Wedding’s Chicago chapter.
PHOTOGRAPHY ROD GERBER & SCARPELLI WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY www.gerberscarpelliweddings.com

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CALIFORNIA WEDDING PLANNER Liz Guthrie says she created a San Francisco Dream Giveaway wedding for couples who have experienced hardships or losses in their lives. Inspired by the outpour of vendors interested in donating for the giveaway and interested applicants, Liz created Wish Upon a Wedding. Officially launched in January, the nonprofit is the world’s first wedding wish granting organization. Liz comments that she would like to take the organization nationwide to help hundreds of people. “It takes a lot of time, energy and resources to plan a wedding,” admits Liz. “We’re happy to provide this service to take the pressure off of the couples so they can relax and celebrate this special time in their lives.”

Beth and Nick, this year’s Chicagoland recipients, married in April. The couple met 10 years ago and became close. Through the course of their friendship, the two fell in love and discussed marriage in their future. In January, Beth was diagnosed with urachal adenocarcinoma, a rare form of bladder cancer. The night she underwent surgery, Nick proposed to her. With chemotherapy, Beth’s prognosis is 20 to 24 months. It was Beth’s aunt who learned about Wish Upon a Wedding and encouraged Beth to apply. The rest is history. Liz says she plans to spread the love in November during the organization’s ‘Month of Giving’ with fundraising galas all over the country.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT
WWW.WISHUPONAWEDDING.ORG

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JOIN THE FACEBOOK PAGE
WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/WISHUPONAWEDDING

TO SEE BETH + NICK’S VIDEO DETAILING THEIR STORY, PLEASE VISIT THE GALLERY PAGE OF OUR WEBSITE
WWW.ME-INFOCUS.COM

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CHICKEN BREAST VESUVIO WILD BERRY NAPOLEON WITH CHANTILLY CREAM + STRAWBERRY COULIS

PHIL STEFANI SIGNATURE EVENTS & RESTAURANTS
1300 W. Hubbard St., Chicago 312 226 7611

WOW YOUR WEDDING
HOTTEST CATERING TRENDS
Add some zest to your celebration with some trendy catering ideas from Jennifer Monti, Director of Catering Sales, at Phil Stefani’s Signature Restaurants in Chicago.
www.stefanicatering.com www.stefanirestaurants.com

CHERRY TOMATO BRUSCHETTA

MIXED FIELD GREEN SALAD

ALL PHOTOS THIS PAGE E3 PHOTOGRAPHY

INDULGE ME

[ SHORT RIBS

One of my favorite current trends is braised short ribs. In this budget conscious climate, it is the best way to get a beef option for your wedding dinner without paying filet prices. Braised short ribs are around the same price as a chicken entrée!

BRAISED SHORT RIBS

We are also seeing many ethic inspired cuisines, particularly Asian. Catering trends are usually right behind restaurant trends and in Chicago, high-end Asian restaurants are hot! One popular dish is an Asian fried vegetable wonton with bok choy. By infusion, it may not be an entirely Asian entrée, but perhaps incorporates an Asian element, like a filet with a wonton wrapped tiger shrimp.

FRIED VEGETABLE WONTON WITH BOK CHOY

R

VEGETARIAN
Vegetarian entrées are very popular right now as well. Gone is the ‘just give them some pasta’ idea. Many guests are opting for vegetarian entrées as a healthy lifestyle choice. You want to make sure that it is a high presentation, fun option like ratatouille socca crepes with a goat cheese fondue sauce!
RATATOUILLE SOCCA CREPES WITH GOAT CHEESE FONDUE SAUCE

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PHOTO NICK ULIVIERI

PHOTO NICK ULIVIERI

W ASIAN (INFUSION)

PHOTO E3 PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO OF KIMBERLY A. SHARKY BY KRISTI SANFORD WWW.LIGHTONLIFEIMAGES.COM/ALL OTHER PHOTOS COURTESY OF EACH PANEL MEMBER

MARIE FAHNERT, J.D.
DIVORCE ATTORNEY AT FAHNERT LAW LLC

LEIGH NEIMAN WEISZ PSY.D.
STAFF THERAPIST, THE FAMILY INSTITUTE AT NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

MARIE’S ADVICE
“I think most major issues facing married people ultimately boil down to trust. I believe if people were able to maintain trust, there would be fewer people who seek or need my help. They would be able to resolve their issues much more efficiently. When trust breaks down, it affects every aspect of your relationship. You no longer know if you’re ‘in this together’.”

LEIGH’S ADVICE
“Strong marriages have solid bank accounts. You have to make five positive deposits for every one negative withdrawal. Deposits are words of admiration and appreciation. Just like managing your finances, you have to be aware of your relationships and constantly be checking your ‘emotional bank accounts’ to see how you’re doing. You want to make constant deposits so you have a cushion and the occasional withdrawal won’t put you in the red.”

e GET MARRIED,

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KIMBERLY A. SHARKY LMFT, CST
RELATIONSHIP & SEX THERAPIST

RABBI MISHA TILLMAN

REVEREND BILL YACCINO
PRESIDENT & FOUNDER OF MISSIONAL ALLIES

KIMBERLY’S ADVICE
“My advice for any couple embarking upon marriage is to be very intentional about establishing an open and honest environment around all issues, especially the difficult or uncomfortable ones, like sex. Ask questions, explore possibilities and remember that your relationship, if it is to thrive, should be allowed to continuously grow and evolve. Consider the idea that discovering new and interesting aspects of yourself and your partner will create a more dynamic and passionate relationship than holding on to the false, yet comforting notion that we already know all there is to know about the other person.”

MISHA’S ADVICE
“[Psychologist and philosopher] Eric Fromm says ‘love is work’ and I say that to all of my couples. Love is not a negotiation or a contract, and you must commit yourself to making it work. Religion is never the cause for marital problems. In interfaith marriages, couples have to make more of a commitment to learn about each other’s traditions. It’s a conquest.”

BILL’S ADVICE
“Know where you are and invest from there! Healthy marriages have a clear understanding where they are in terms of strength and growth areas.”

STAY MARRIEDqq
PEARLS OF WISDOM
Our diverse panel of experts shares their advice on making marriage work, in their own words.
COMPILED BY IYA BAKARE
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HISTORICAL BEACH BUMS
CLIFFS OVERLOOKING A BEACH ON MAYAN TEMPLE GROUNDS IN TULUM

RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO
Summer is the perfect time to save on your honeymoon with low season deals in Central America, starting with the Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. You’ll fly into Cancun but bypass it in favor of Playa del Carmen, the heart of the Riviera Maya about one hour south. Enjoy the turquoise waters and white sands by day and fine dining and entertainment by night. If you’re feeling adventurous, explore the nearby cenotes, giant limestone sinkholes once thought to be sacred by the Maya – or better yet – dive them. If you don’t know how, it’s easy to get certified with the many dive shops in the area. Take a short ferry ride to Cozumel, a treasure trove of pristine reefs and a mecca for underwater enthusiasts. Further south, relax the day away with your honey in a hammock on the stunning secluded beaches of Tulum, and spend some time exploring the area’s ancient Mayan ruins. www.rivieramaya.com

WHAT COLOR IS YOUR COUPLE?

JET SET

HONEYMOON HOT SPOTS
Sticking to your budget in this economy doesn’t mean sacrificing a fabulous honeymoon. For the couple whose looking to save on travel time and costs, each of these four destinations offers a distinct getaway experience.

L

PHOTOS BY BIAN LI

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SUNRISE OVER LAGO DE ATITLAN

BOHEMIAN ADVENTURERS

ANTIGUA + LAGO DE ATITLÁN, GUATEMALA
For the adventurous couple who’s more hippie than high maintenance, Guatemala is an off the beaten path alternative to the more touristy Central American countries, and jam packed with activities to indulge your inner Bohemian, from volcano trekking to bass fishing. Visit the old Spanish city of Antigua, whose cobblestone streets, artisanal shops and colonial charm make it the perfect base to visit the surrounding Mayan ruins, indigenous community markets and the beautiful Lago de Atitlan, a picturesque locale described by English author Aldous Huxley as “...really too much of a good thing.” An early morning trek up to one of the peaks surrounding the lake to catch the sunrise will reveal why ‘Atitlan’ means ‘the place where the rainbow gets its colors.’ www.atitlan.com

DIVE BOATS AT THE PIER AT SUNRISE, CAYE CAULKER

REEF SEEKERS

AMBERGIS CAYE + CAYE CAULKER, BELIZE
Get ready to kick back with your honey. You’ll hear people tell you this a lot when you’re in Belize, a beautiful country famous for its laid back, ‘shoes optional’ attitude, tropical rainforests and gorgeous reefs. While a bit pricier than the rest of Central America, Belize still offers plenty of low season summer deals. And unlike the rest of Central America, Belize is primarily an English-speaking country. As part of one of the largest coral reef systems in the world, Belize is a diver’s paradise and the two islands of Ambergis Caye and Caye Caulker are great places to start out on your diving adventure, which must include diving the famous Great Blue Hole. Besides diving, Belize has a growing ecotourism industry. Trek through the jungle, kayak from caye to caye or just do what the locals do and slow down and relax... www.travelbelize.org

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LEFT/HUBBARD GLACIER RIGHT/SHIPS DOCKED IN JUNEAU

YUKON EXPLORERS

ALASKAN CRUISE
Go north! Summer is the best time to explore the wondrous natural landscape that is Alaska. From glacier-trekking to whale-watching to roaming the Yukon trail, Alaska offers limitless adventure. One of the best ways to see a lot in a little amount of time is via cruise, and there are numerous options to choose from. If you have more time, take a road trip and discover the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness. Head out to Denali National Park, home of grizzly bears, caribou and an amazing assortment of other wildlife. Denali is also home to North America’s highest peak, Mt. McKinley. www.alaskacruises.com

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BRENDA DELLA CASA is an internationally published author who specializes in romance, lifestyle and wellness features. Brenda has written for and been featured in dozens of major publications.

BRENDA DELLA CASA

ASK YOURSELF
“If there were no rock and I had to go to City Hall, would I still want to marry this man?” “Am I going into this with my eyes wide open?” “Are both of you emotionally mature enough to take this step?”
“Can you communicate

openly and honestly with your partner?” “Are you with someone who allows you to be yourself and accepts you for who you are?” “Would you love him if he lost his hair, grew a gut or fell ill?”

“Does he make you laugh? Does he make you feel beautiful? Does he share your values and support your goals and dreams? Does he want the same things you do?”

www.cindarellawasaliar.com www.iamstaggered.com

TO q DO’S BEFORE

WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY that not only vilifies single women but worships weddings – not marriage, but the actual event. Unfortunately, this has caused a lot of bright, beautiful and accomplished women to feel they are not complete without a ring and a night that wows their 150 closest friends. With this in mind, the first question I would encourage women to ask themselves is, “If there were no rock and I had to go to City Hall, would I still want to marry this man?” If the answer is ‘yes’, proceed to the next question, which is, “Am I going into this with my eyes wide open?” Many women have an idea that marriage will change a relationship or the man they are with, when in fact, marriage does little more than legally bind you to someone else. What does this mean? If you marry someone who doesn’t share your values, treat you well, support you, respect you or treat you the way you deserve to be treated, the only thing that will change is that you’ll wake up legally tied to this person. It’s essential for you to get to know someone as well as you can before you take this important step. Too many women get so caught up in the idea of being married they forget marriage is a union between two imperfect human beings, and this

means it won’t always be easy, which brings me to my next question: “Are both of you emotionally mature enough to take this step?” Life isn’t easy and while marriage is about merging both lives together, you’re still two growing, unique individuals with your own opinions, wants, needs, desires and hang-ups. Those things don’t go away just because you love one another. Unless you are both mature enough to accept and respect one another’s individuality and are willing to let go of your need to be right all the time or have everything your way, you’ll likely not make it to your golden anniversary. If you do, it won’t be a happy journey. Couples who stay married are the ones who want to stay married. They are the ones who understand that sometimes their mate will want to go in a direction they don’t, and sometimes they’ll miss being able to live independently and not having to compromise. They understand that there are going to be disagreements and moments when they want to walk away and that’s all part of the package. With that said, they choose to work through their issues with their partner and know that it’s worth the compromise and frustration because being married to their mate is a privilege.

“Can you communicate openly and honestly with your partner?” There’s a big difference between privacy and secrecy, and going into a marriage where you don’t feel free to express yourself is a recipe for disaster. Not only will you feel suffocated and frustrated, but when the real you shows up, your partner will likely feel betrayed. You need to be with someone who allows you to be yourself and accepts you for who you are. You need to feel respected, loved, protected and trusted by your partner and be with someone you respect, love, cherish and trust. No one should enter into a marriage unless she wants to enter into it, and she needs to do it on her own timeline. It is far better to wait and marry the right guy at 45 than it is to rush down the aisle with the wrong one at 30. “Would you love him if he lost his hair, grew a gut or fell ill?” Love isn’t about having a sexy someone on your arm. Looks fade over time, so it’s important that you’re attracted to his soul. Does he make you laugh? Does he make you feel beautiful? Does he share your values and support your goals and dreams? Does he want the same things you do?

SAYING ‘I DO I DO’
WITH BRENDA DELLA CASA
Our relationship guru Brenda Della Casa, author of Cinderella Was a Liar and relationship expert for IamStaggered, the UK’s top ten men’s wedding website, offers her advice to women with questions they should ask themselves before taking the plunge.
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JULY/AUG 2010